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Sean Davidson joins an elite club
July 2, 2012

GROTON, CT – Sean Davidson, son of Patricia Sawatzke, and a 1987 graduate of Delano High School, was recently promoted to the rank of master chief petty officer in the US Navy.

His promotion to master chief petty officer, the grade of E9, will be the last promotion he will ever receive, because it is the highest enlisted rank in the Navy.

The rank of master chief is considered the 1 percent club, because only about 1 percent of the entire enlisted community will ever achieve such promotion.

Master Chief Davidson joined the Navy in April 1989, attended boot camp at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command in Illinois, attended Electrician Mate school in Illinois, and was then stationed in Sasebo, Japan for two years.

Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield

While overseas, stationed on board the USS Dubuque (LPD 8), his unit was called upon to immediately deploy to the Persian Gulf as a component of Operation Desert Storm after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, a deployment that lasted five months.

Following his tour overseas, he was assigned to the repair ship USS Jason (AR 8) in San Diego, CA, where, in 1991, his unit was once again deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield, offering repair support to deployed units.

On return from this deployment, he was assigned to a rating conversion and was ordered to Great Lakes for training to become a gas turbine systems technician.

During this 18-month assignment, he met his wife, Rachel, and they were married in April 1994. The couple now has three children.

After attending school, he was ordered to a pre-commissioning unit in Bath, ME, for the construction of the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 106).

After construction, the crew sailed her around through the Panama Canal to her homeport in San Diego, CA.

Called upon again, he was deployed to the Persian Gulf in August 1996, and remained on station for six months, protecting the area of the northern Arabian Gulf.

Following his tour aboard the Fitzgerald, he was assigned to an educational program and attended San Diego City College, earning his degree in electronics for microprocessor/microcontroller design, graduating with honors in August 2000.


His next assignment was USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) in San Diego. Again deploying to the Persian Gulf, his unit was called to action after the 9/11 attack on the United States.

Already on station in the Gulf, his unit prepared for their return trip to San Diego when, in the middle of the night in September 2001, the ship took an abrupt course change, heading back to sea.

Later that morning, the crew was informed of the attack and learned that they would remain on station.

After weeks of supporting and protecting arriving US assets in the area, USS John Paul Jones was tasked with the first strike against the Tailiban forces in Afghanistan, firing 32 tomahawk missiles into the night.

USS John Paul Jones sent a message to the world that the US will never back down and will fight back with all her might against those who threaten her freedom.

Back to the states

Months after returning to San Diego, his unit was ordered to take over control of USS Higgins (DDG 76), while currently deployed in the Persian Gulf as a part of a sea swap experiment designed to save money and keep ships on station for a longer period of time by avoiding the long ocean transit to the Gulf.

After five months on station protecting regions in the northern Arabian Gulf, the crew return to San Diego in April 2004.

After this tour, he was assigned to the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA as the senior enlisted leader.

His tour in Monterey ended in November 2007. He was then assigned to a pre-commissioning unit, USS Stockdale (DDG 106), in Bath, ME.

After sailing her around to San Diego in February 2009, the unit deployed December 2010 to Southeast Asia for patrol in the South Pacific and South China Sea, returning to San Diego in July 2011.

He was then assigned to his current duty station at the Naval Submarine School in Groton, CT, serving as the alternate contracting officer’s representative, overseeing the maintenance of several submarine training devices, and now, as the department master chief for the training support department.

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